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February 11, 2004

Effectiveness of Influenza Vaccine to Prevent Acute Otitis Media

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie, MD, PhD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2004;291(6):692-694. doi:10.1001/jama.291.6.693-a

To the Editor: Dr Hoberman and colleagues1 reported that trivalent influenza vaccine did not reduce the risk of AOM among children aged 6 to 24 months. This finding is in contrast with the findings from 4 previous reports25 in which use of the vaccine was associated with an approximate one-third reduction in AOM occurrence. Two important considerations are missing from the article by Hoberman et al. First, the authors did not address the efficacy of the vaccine in preventing influenza-associated AOM. As many as two thirds of children with influenza may have AOM.2 The benefit of influenza vaccine derives directly from prevention of influenza-induced AOM cases. In the study by Hoberman et al, 50 children had proven influenza; it would be important to know the efficacy of the vaccine in preventing influenza-induced AOM in these cases.

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